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‘Cyberpunk 2077’ Will Reshape the RPG Genre



If CD Projekt Red have proved anything since 2015, it’s that they can make an incredible RPG title. Which is why recent news on Cyberpunk 2077, their latest project after The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, is nothing short of mind-blowing. At this moment in time, it’s incredibly difficult to not be on board their unstoppable hype train.

Especially since their newest gameplay demo looked better than most triple A titles that had been released in the last year. But Cyberpunk 2077 is more than just the game itself, it comes from a tabletop RPG of the same series name which is equally as important to understand.

Writer Mike Pondsmith & Cyberpunk 2020

Cyberpunk 2020 is an iconic sci-fi tabletop RPG that prides itself in flair, 80’s neon and guns bigger than children

Cyberpunk 2020 paints a bleak picture of a post-modern world. A world where rampant crime is around every corner, mega-corporations control every facet of life, and cyberware (or cybernetics) can be added to any person without much hassle. It’s blend of gritty science-fiction crossed generously with 80’s flair.

To help the writing and design team understand just how to truly realise this vision, CD Projekt Red actually brought in Mike Pondsmith, one of the original writers for the tabletop system. It’s with Mike’s insight and CD Projekt Red’s attention to detail that they’ve seemingly brought the tabletop system to life with stunning results. Pondsmith’s input is clearly visible in the demo, as Night City looks more like a dangerous version of Bladerunner than the garish 80’s RPG – the same RPG that encourages players to cyber themselves up, take on mob bosses, tangle with high society and then come out on top.

The tabletop game is unforgiving although it rewards those who prepare for everything. The video game adaption shows great promise and more importantly, it proves that more, and more people are taking an interest in typically nerdy puruits, and games nowadays. More so than that however, Cyberpunk 2077 represents what happens if you’ve got a team that cares about the title they’re putting out into the world.


Above: How fans of the series felt seeing all the fake rumors about the project being put on ice or shut down entirely

Before 2077 reached this stage, it had quite the history behind it. With production likely beginning well before the first trailer came out (the 10th of January 2013 to be exact), CD Projekt Red have kept this so close to their chest, that many people, including myself, believed the rumours floating around in 2016 stating that the project had been put on ice because of funding issues. Thankfully this wasn’t the case.

However it’s been far from smooth sailing. In June of 2017, CD Projekt Red reported that hackers had taken some of the game’s production files. In an official statement, their Twitter account stated that “the documents [taken] are old and largely unrepresentative of the current version of the game”. While a relief that nothing vital was stolen, a blip like this must have caused some sort of alarm of stalling. But the team behind this is clearly driven, and wanting to deliver something truly special so as they stated in one of their few public announcements: “silence is the cost of making a great game”.

Checking Out The Augmentations

Even the Alpha showed off some pretty heavy Cyberware users, the Maelstrom Gang, who are more robot than human

Over 15 million views have been racked up on the Cyberpunk 2077 E3 trailer (2018). In just three short months, the project has gone from something barely spoken of, to the next big thing to happen in gaming. And that’s hardly surprising really. Both the trailer and the demo show an incredible level of polish, using footage from the in-game engine and not a pre-generated cutscene.

But here’s a really exciting fact about the E3 trailer: every new scene shows off at least one piece of cyberware. While that might not sound like much, it shows just how neatly CD Projekt Red are taking the 2020 books to heart.

One exceptionally remarkable moment (for those who have played the tabletop system) can be found fifty-seven seconds into the video when we see the protagonist (named ‘V’) holding a weapon that clearly says ‘MAGRAIL’ down the side of the sights. That’s highly likely to be a railgun. For those who don’t know, they’re capable of taking out things like trucks and heavy vehicles, from a range of up to fifteen-hundred meters. The excitement builds.

Taking In The Sights & Sounds

Seeing V pay a visit to her Ripperdoc was an experience, and one that the player is likely to see many times over during the campaign

For an Alpha, the demo looked incredible. No hyperbole. No glamorous words. It was just incredible. Even as CD Projekt Red deliver a nearly hour-long tour of Night City, and your role within it, they’re quick to remind you all this could change. I’m not sure quite how they could make it better, but they’ll likely find a way.

But for the purposes of the demo, it shows off your role as V, a solo (mercenary) who is tasked with various, dangerous, jobs to solve as you attempt to earn a living in Night City. Unlike any other title unveiled at E3, Night City feels like a warped L.A or New York City. It feels alive. Even just looking at it from a mere Alpha, you can see all the work and care that has been taken to craft the demo.

The demo itself shows off a variety of aspects, from diplomatic solutions, visits to your Cyberware doctor, to dealing with a Millitech corporate agent. Several key moments within the demo really highlight the ways in which the team behind Cyberpunk 2077 have already nailed the genre, the game, and with luck, they will dominate every awards ceremony the year it is released.

There is a lot to appreciate here starting with the initial encounter with the harvester gang within the tower block. It’s a pretty intense opening scene, with no punches pulled. V and her partner, Jackie, storm an apartment in search of a missing woman, and the gameplay is slick. Its looks smooth, even with bullets zipping left, right and centre of V and her cover.

Later on, V elects to take the ‘peaceful’ route into a gang’s hideout, in hopes of getting back a piece of stolen Millitech robotics. The demonstration that the game can be resolved with some level of peace, and its not just about gunning down everyone you see, is vital.

Calling Shots

Seeing the NPC’s interact with one another, was like watching CD Projekt Red flex on the entire games industry with their work

Closing predictions are easy to make right now, mostly because all you need to do is watch an interview with Mike Pondsmith, and you’ll begin to understand his vision. And obviously, it would help if you play the tabletop game itself which is amazing and fun.

We’re sure to hear more about the gangs of Night City. As they’ll likely play a large part in the roles our V will take, and the jobs we complete along the way. The corporations will be also be shown off at some point, perhaps not in the same way as the gangs will be, because of their status and power. But rest assured, the corporate Agents will be revealed too, and they will either be our greatest allies, or worst nightmare’s (corporate Agents get access to military grade cyberware, some of which is able to do frankly incredible things to a person).

Aside from all that, I’m fully expecting weapons to be detailed, clubs to be shown, and other, smaller details that really add the last touches of brilliance. Make no mistake, Cyberpunk 2077, when it’s released, is going to be the reason we all lose days.

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Netflix Releases Teaser for ‘El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie’

The Netflix Television Event will launch globally on Friday, October 11




It was on September 29, 2013, that Breaking Bad came to an end with the final episode of that series, “Felina” in which Walter White evades a nationwide manhunt in order to return to New Mexico and deliver the remaining profits from his illegal methamphetamine empire to his family. Knowing cancer will soon kill him, Walt revisits his former acquaintances to settle his affairs and prepare himself for the conflict and his death. When the credits rolled, audiences believed it would be the last time they would see many of these characters and while we did get a spinoff show in Better Call Saul, one character who hasn’t returned in any other show as of yet is Jesse Pinkman. That’s about to change…

Netflix announced on Saturday that it will release a new Breaking Bad movie that will center on Pinkman (Aaron Paul), who was last seen in the TV series speeding off in a stolen Chevrolet El Camino to parts unknown.

The film, titled El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, was written and directed by Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad, and will be released on Netflix on Oct. 11. The film is also expected to be broadcast at a later date on AMC, the cable network where the TV series was originally shown from 2008 to 2013.

Official Synopsis:

The Netflix Television Event El Camino: Breaking Bad Movie reunites fans with Jesse Pinkman (Emmy-winner Aaron Paul).  In the wake of his dramatic escape from captivity, Jesse must come to terms with his past in order to forge some kind of future.  This gripping thriller is written and directed by Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad.  The movie is produced by Mark Johnson, Melissa Bernstein, Charles Newirth, Diane Mercer and Aaron Paul, in association with Sony Pictures Television.

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Watch the Trailer for ‘The Mandalorian’ the First Live-Action ‘Star Wars’ Series




Thanks to the arrival of the D23 Expo, Disney has revealed the first trailer for its long-awaited Star Wars original series, The Mandalorian.

Created by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), the series is set after the events of Return of the Jedi and follows Pedro Pascal as a mysterious, gun-slinging Mandalorian bounty hunter who navigates the seedier side of the Star Wars universe.

Along with Pedro Pascal, The Mandalorian stars Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Carl Weathers, Omid Abtahi, Werner Herzog, and Taika Waititi. The first season of episodes will be directed by filmmakers like Dave Filoni, Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, and Deborah Chow.

the mandalorian trailer

Here’s the official description of The Mandalorian:

After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.

The Mandalorian begins streaming on Disney+ on November 12, 2019.

Check out The Mandalorian trailer below.

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Soundtrack Gets a Vinyl Release




While we don’t publish music news or music reviews here at Goomba Stomp, we are huge fans of vinyl and since we cover film, we figured this announcement would interest some of our readers.

Back in 2017, Jordan Peele’s Get Out topped our list of the best films of 2017 and while the year isn’t yet over, there’s a good chance his follow-up Us, will land somewhere on our best of the year list as well. There are many reasons why we love Peele’s ambitious sophomore film including for the suspense, cinematography, performances, and direction, but one thing that doesn’t get enough praise is the soundtrack by Michael Abels. And if you like us, love the original score, you’re going to love this bit of news.

After giving his Get Out soundtrack a vinyl release last year, Jordan Peele is now doing the same for the soundtrack to Us.

WaxWork Records announced the news earlier today and if you’re planning on buying a copy, you don’t have to wait since it is now available to purchase through the label’s website.

The soundtrack, which received a digital release earlier this year, features composer Michael Abels’ score, in addition to songs from Janelle Monáe, Minnie Ripperton and the “Tethered Mix” of Luniz’s “I Got 5 on It” that appeared in the film’s first trailer. The album artwork was created by illustrator Edward Kinsella and features an interactive die-cut mirror board back cover, a heavyweight art print and an exclusive essay from UCLA Professor, scholar, and activist Shana L. Redmond Ph.D.

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Trailer for the Twisted Dark Comedy thriller ‘Villains’




Alter has released the first poster and the official trailer for Villains, the upcoming dark comedy thriller which stars Bill Skarsgård (IT) and Maika Monroe (It Follows) as a couple who rob a gas station and scores enough cash to start a new life in Florida. Unfortunately for them, their getaway plans turn upside down and the young couple end up stumbling on much more than they bargained for.

Villains hits theaters on September 20th and was written and directed by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen. In addition to Skarsgard and Monroe, the movie also stars Jeffrey Donovan and Kyra Sedgwick. It’s co-produced by Bron Studios, Star Thrower Entertainment, Creative Wealth Media Finance, and The Realm Films. You can watch the trailer for Villains below.

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Beanie Babies: The Collectables with Heart

Toys We Love Spotlight



For our Toys We Love Spotlight, I’m looking at one of my personal favourites: Beanie Babies. I had collected so many of these growing up, and households worldwide in the 90s and early 2000s were sure to have at least one Beanie Baby in their possession (was it even the 90s if they didn’t?). These plushie companions were cute, cuddly, and collectable, so it’s not a surprise that the Beanie Babies craze swept the globe, forcing parents and toy collectors everywhere to dig into their wallets.

Beanie Babies had a few aspects to them that made them stand out from your average plushie. Firstly, they did not have as much stuffing as most soft toys. Whilst some thought that this made them look cheap, it also made them light, posable, and gave them a realistic feel and look. The bear Beanie Babies were particularly good to pose, and this set them apart from run-of-the-mill teddy bears. Another element that made Beanie Babies more unique was their special tag. Each toy had a tag attached which had the toy’s name, date of birth, and a quotation etched inside. The former was something that could have been a risky choice, as although it wasn’t completely taking away the child’s choice of name — there was nothing stopping them from just calling their Beanie whatever they wanted — a pre-selected name can be difficult to sell, as kids can often take great pride and pleasure in naming their toys.

It was a great success, however, and worked as a nice finishing touch for the Beanie Babies, adding a dash of personality and flair (something much needed in the often critically over-saturated soft toy market), as well as making each Beanie Baby feel like their own creature with their own little stories. Adding to that was the wide variety of animals that were available, such as Tiny the Chihuahua, Pegasus the Unicorn or Swampy the Alligator. This means that the desires of each individual child or enthusiastic collector could be catered to (I myself favoured the dogs and bears).

The puppies were my Beanie Baby of choice. They were all such good boys and girls.

The Beanie Babies also had their own way of tackling difficult issues in society, showing them to kids through the guise of a soft toy. I’ll give you an example through my own experience: I had a Beanie Baby that (as odd as it may sound) gave me more of an understanding of the horrors of September 11th. Weird, right? Allow me to explain. I was only just nine years old on that now-historical day when the twin towers in New York were attacked and so many innocent people lost their lives. I had come home from school (it was afternoon time here in the UK when it happened), and I remember my mum watching it on television in complete shock. She had watched the whole thing whilst I’d been at school.

I didn’t really understand what was happening to be honest. Even when I was watching the repeats of the plane crashing into the side of the tower, I was somewhat oblivious the gravity of the situation (though as a nine year old child, I suppose I could be forgiven for that). The news continued to report the tragedy for a long time, and my school held assemblies to discuss the matter. I knew people had died, and that made me very sad, but I remember thinking that people died all the time, so why was this one incident reported on so much? About a month or so after, TY released three Beanie Babies as a tribute to those lost during 9/11. One of these was a Dalmatian Beanie Baby called Rescue, and I wanted him the moment I saw him, not really knowing the true nature of his purpose. My mum obliged happily, knowing what he represented. I remember taking my little Dalmatian with the red collar and American flag on his leg home and reading his tag. It read:

To honor our heroes
who lost their lives in the
national catastrophe that
took place on September 11, 2001.
We mourn for them and express our
deepest sympathy to their families.
God Bless America

Rescue the Dalmatian was joined by America the Bear and Courage the German Shepherd. The Beanies were a set of three released to honor those who perished in the tragedy of 9/11.

I found Rescue in my room recently, and the memories flooded back to me upon reading it again. I remember looking into all the acts of heroism and bravery after reading Rescue’s tag, and that’s when the situation really hit home to me. I looked into the stories of firefighters and first responders and those who had died, as well as all the search-and-rescue dogs attempting to save people among the chaos. As a child, it can be hard to see past your immediate opinion and truly consider the sheer weight of a situation, but with Rescue’s help, I was able to see just how this event was indeed very different to anything I had ever seen before, and how serious it was. It was the first time I felt like I was thinking like a grown up. I looked at the world differently from then on — obviously as I got older, but also from my ability to think harder and search deeper. Honestly, I don’t know if I would have even bothered if it wasn’t for Rescue reminding me of exactly how much was lost on that day.

Rescue, perhaps the goodest and bravest boy of them all.

Beanie babies will forever be ingrained in culture. They are still bought, sold and collected even now and will remain a timeless staple of most of our childhoods. They certainly are for me. Especially you Rescue, the bravest firefighting Dalmatian the world has ever known.

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